It’s been a laundry day mystery for years: Two socks go in the wash, one turns up without a matching sock to get paired with. Eventually you are left with a sock drawer full of single socks. We’ve all been there. The team at Hangers Cleaners in Maumelle, Arkansas takes garment cleaning pretty seriously. We want to help in any way we can. While we can’t make your missing sock magically reappear in your sock drawer, we can help you feel less alone.

Here are 5 stages most of us go through when we lose a sock to our laundry.

Stage 1: The sock gets lost after garment cleaning.

This stage stays completely under the radar. Somewhere along your laundry day routine your sock separated itself—or was separated—from the rest of the laundry load.

How does this happen? Here are just a few things that can happen to your socks on laundry day.

  • They can get eaten by your washing machine or dryer. (Yes. It’s true! Here is a Youtube video showing how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8G_uCSrzUxE )
  • Socks get lost. The size of a sock makes it easy for them to get lost. They can fall down between sofa cushions or under appliances.
  • Your dog might be the culprit. If you have a dog around the house, they may have run off with your socks. Many dogs love smelly, dirty socks. They have a hard time telling the difference between them and their toys.

During this stage the sock gets separated from its partner and ends up in a location. It may never be seen again or it could turn up when it is least needed.

Stage 2: You are confronted with an unlucky, one-of-a-kind sock after garment cleaning. 

While you are folding your laundry and pairing up your socks you realize one sock doesn’t have a partner. You line-up the socks that are accounted for and find you are still short.

Stage 3: Coping.

There are many different ways we handle this stage of losing a sock. All of them lead to the reality that you must continue your life with the devastation of knowing that something that takes less than a skein of yarn to create has somehow remained hidden from you.

Your intellectual ego suffers.

You wear mismatched socks and make jokes like: “Life is too short for matching socks,” or “it’s a fashion statement.”

You might even start to notice friends and strangers around you wearing mismatched socks. The world seems a little less lonely knowing we all struggle with losing socks after garment cleaning and must make peace with the compromise.

Stage 4: Buying new socks.

Eventually, so many of your socks will suffer this fate and you’ll be forced to buy more. We recommend buying the same socks, or the same type of socks. They’ll be easier to pair-up with a new partner when theirs goes missing after a garment cleaning.